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Landscape vs. Fence: Which Should You Put In First?

Landscape vs. Fence: Which Should You Put In First?

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Willie Moore
Latest posts by Willie Moore (see all)

If you’ve just bought a new house, you probably want to give it a fresh look with some landscaping. But then you realize that you have no fence. At this point, you might be wondering which one to do first.

In most cases, you should put up the fence first to prevent your fencing company from ruining any landscape work during installation. You should especially have your fence up first if you plan to have flowers and plants near the fence. 

In this article, I will discuss when putting up a fence first might be a good idea. In other cases, it will be practical to do the landscaping first. Read on to determine what you should put first in these different scenarios.

Planning for Your Yard

The most important thing to do before you start landscaping or fencing is to plan for your yard. The goal is to design a layout of what you want your yard to look like. It doesn’t matter if your plan is sketchy.

As you create your layout, it’s best to split it into different sections. Having a blueprint of your side yard, front yard, and backyard will make your landscaping stage a breeze. Think about both hardscaping and softscaping as you draw up your layout. 

Softscaping involves the kinds of plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs you want to have in your yard. On the other hand, hardscaping consists of any rigid structures that are going to be constructed, including porches, patios, and pavements.

Map out the placement of both these elements to get an idea of what your finished yard will look like. After you’ve figured this out, you can now make some decisions on whether you should landscape or fence first. The choice will depend on several factors.

1. Landscaping Activities

Sometimes, your landscaping may involve a lot of movement of large vehicles in and out of your yard. These trucks might be engaged in some form of construction on the yard and will need to move in heavy material.

If this is something you anticipate, you might want to put off the fencing for later. This is because there’s a chance that the entrance to your yard might be too small to allow these heavy trucks access.

In any case, it’s always good practice to start with hardscaping structures whenever you’re landscaping. The reason for this is to avoid causing damage to any vegetation or construction that could have existed before.

For example, a contractor doing your fencing might need to break down some concrete work you did while landscaping in order to erect poles for the fence.

If you had already completed your landscaping, this would mean some of your efforts were in vain.

2. Your Budget

If you can afford to start and finish your landscaping project in one go, do it. After that, you can put up your fence. 

However, if your budget is a little constrained, the better option is to start with the fence, which you should do without pauses in the project. With landscaping, you can always do one portion of your yard until the entire place comes together. Over a period of months or years, you can plant trees, cultivate a vegetable garden, and grow flowers here and there. 

3. Plants Around the Fence

You should put up the fence first if you plan to have a few flowers and plants near it. These can be delicate, and any uncontrolled movements and handiwork while fencing could spoil them. Therefore, the fencing process could destroy the plants if you start with laying the bed. 

In other cases, you might want to plant some climbers along the fence. Plants such as honeysuckles and climbing roses add a lovely layer to most fences because they grow upwards. Naturally, you would have to set up a fence first to allow them to attach to it (source). 

4. Changes in Yard Height During Landscaping

In some cases, your yard will have unleveled ground. As you do your landscaping, you might decide to level it out by flattening a hill or filling a depression with soil. After you do that, you can then put up a fence.

Putting up a fence on an unleveled piece of ground would not only be harder but also make the finished work unappealing. 

On the contrary, if your yard is relatively flat, there would be no problem raising a fence before you start with any landscape work.

5. Presence of Pets and Children

If you have pets and children you might want to keep them safe by preventing them from wandering off in your new neighborhood.

In such a case, it would be better to start by setting up a fence before you consider doing the landscaping. 

6. Security of the Neighborhood

If you live in a secure neighborhood, you can afford to do your landscaping first. When you feel confident about your finished project, you can then put up the fence. However, if you live in a neighborhood where it’s vital to have a fence, you should get that first. 

The same can be said if you value privacy above the aesthetics of your compound. Upon getting into a new neighborhood, some people would want to remain off the radar to passers-by and neighbors. If this sounds like you, then you will probably have to put up a fence before you do any landscaping.

7. Type of Fence You Want To Use

Depending on the kind of fence you want to use for your project, you can do your fencing before, after, or during the landscaping.

Concrete and wooden fences would probably be much easier to set up before you plant your flowers and grass. Otherwise, constructing these fences in the presence of a lush garden might be messy. Hedge fences can be set up as you do the rest of the landscaping. 

Final Thoughts

Whether you should work on your landscape or fence first comes down to many factors. It depends on the type of plants you intend to have and where you want to place them in your yard.

Sometimes it’s about what your pocket can afford first and the intensity of landscaping activity you are about to do. 

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